Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Local & Long Distance Calls

Have you heard tried Magic Jack yet? You can get a risk-free 30 day trial of Magic Jack, a great new device that plugs into your PC to provide free local and long distance phone calls, directory assistance, a phone number, call waiting and caller ID and voicemail! As seen on TV and featured in PC Magazine!
This is a great time to take advantage of Magic Jack. You can save a ton a money over the course of the rest of this year if it works for you! I can't wait!!! Try it with me now!

Freebies for You!!!!

I love Free Samples! They are the best way to stretch my budget. I keep them in my purse, and especially in my gym bag. Recently my husband took some on a business trip- and he came back with more than he left with!! Gotta love that! So, I cannot wait to sign up for these new samples, and some that are still available if you have not signed up yet.

Free Spring Slim Down Samples from Quality Health here
Free Nutrigrain Bar here
Free Trial Pair of Acuvue Oasis
Free Baby Samples from here
Free Samples from Remedy Life here
Facial Cleansing Cloth Sample here
Tempur Pedic free Nighttime Renewal Kit here I got mine and it was so interesting-it came with a great coupon for Tempur Pedic too!!
Multiple Samples and Health Information from My Healthy Info here

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Magazine Round-Up

Here are some free magazine offers from around the internet:
Click here for a free 2 year subscription to Women's Health.
Click here for a free subscription to Elle Decor.
Click here for a free subscription to Soap Opera Digest.
Click here for a free subscription to Successful Living.
Click here for a free subscription to Parents magazine.
Click here for a free suscription to Bridal Guide.
Click here for a free subscription to Body & Soul.
Click below for a huge assortment of free trade publications.

Lowe's Free Build and Grow Clinics for Kids

Lowe's features Build and Grow Clinics for kids. It was hard to find info on this but it looks like they do them every other week. The next one is Saturday, March 14th and the project is a tabletop basketball hoop. Click here to sign up for a workshop. This Saturday kids will be making this:

I just signed Joey up to go with his Dad (surprise Dad!)! I'll make sure to post a picture of the finished product.

Free Kids Workshops at Home Depot

Click here to sign up for a free kids workshop at the Home Depot. These workshops are held the first Saturday of each month and you must pre-register for your workshop. At the March workshop kids will be making a cool raceway (just like the Boy Scout's Pinewood Derby raceway but on smaller scale!). Kids also receive a Home Depot apron and hat!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Music!!

Click here to get a free download of the BareNaked Ladies Children's song "789" from their new kids' cd.

Click here to load tons of free kids' music. I sampled some and it is fun music!

Click here to download Taylor Swift's "Love Story."

Click here to get a free download from WalMart every week. This week's song is "Heat Wave" by Martha & the Vandellas.

Click here to download free Country music from Clint Black, Jewel and more courtesy of People magazine.

I tested all of these to make sure they were working so you should be able to get some fun, free music!


50 Free Prints from CVS!

What a great deal! Just another reason to love CVS. I came across this deal by surprise!
This year, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I did not get my annual Christmas card made and mailed by Christmas. I thought I might turn into a New Year's card. New Year's came and went. I thought it would be a Celebrating the New Year card...and all of sudden, January was over (where did that month go anyway?). Now it was February. I thought, How about a Valentine's card? So I whipped up a cute little Valentine's Day card, complete with personal note and then...where to print the 47 copies I needed? Well, enter Joey, my first grader. Joey REALLY wanted Snoopy Valentine's Day cards for his class. We searched high and low (okay WalMart, Target and Walgreen's) and couldn't find them anywhere. I went into SuperMommy mode and made Snoopy Valentines. It was 8:30 pm before I finished finding Snoopy comics that were good quality pics I could lift off the internet. And they were due the next day (they had their party a couple of days early). So I logged onto CVS because they are close and they do one hour and signed up for a photocenter account. It said I would receive 20 free prints. That's pretty good because I needed 21 for school and then I remembered the other 47 I needed to print. And of course I always print a few extras. Then I connected my account to my Extracare Card and next thing I knew, the screen was popping up that I would receive 50 free prints. And no shipping costs because I was picking them up at the store. AND they did them for me that night! So, I paid a little over $3 for 72 prints. Yippee! I know how to make a short story long or what??

Top 10 Healthy Foods Under $1.00

10 Healthy Foods Under $1 (See entire article at

Just because food prices are continually rising, doesn't mean we can't find some healthy choices that won't break our budgets. You can still find many healthy foods out there for under $1.00. Here's a Top 10 list from (with my 2 cents thrown in here and there).

Prices may vary based on the store, location, and time of year.

1. Apples
Great for: Snacks, green salads, main dish salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large apple.
Price per serving: About $1. Apples sell for about $1.99 per pound, and an extra large crisp apple weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 117 calories, 5 grams fiber, 17% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 7% Daily Value for potassium.
(I have been finding apples at my local grocery store and Wal-Mart for 99cents/lb - $1.69/lb over the past few weeks for Granny Smith and other tasty varieties.)

2. Bananas
Great for: Snacks and fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, and smoothies.
What's a serving? 1 banana.
Price per serving: About 45 cents. Bananas sell for about $0.89 per pound, and a large banana weighs about 1/2 pound
Nutrition Info per serving: 121 calories, 3.5 grams fiber, 14% Daily Value for potassium (487 mg), 20% Daily Value for vitamin C.
(I have been buying my bananas at Aldi's lately - only 45 cents/lb!)

3. Baby Carrots (in bags)
Great for: Snacks, casseroles, stews, veggie platters, and side dishes.
What's a serving? About 1/2 cup or 2 ounces raw.
Price per serving: 19 cents. A 16-ounce bag costs about $1 on sale and contains about 8 servings (2 ounces each).
Nutrition Info per serving: 27 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 200% Daily Value for vitamin A, and 7% Daily Value for vitamin C.
(The regular price of these at Aldi's is 99cents per bag!)

4. Canned Beans
Great for: Green salads, casseroles, stews, and chili. Types of beans range from 50% less sodium kidney beans and black beans to white beans and garbanzo beans.
What's a serving? Each can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 15-ounce can for about $1 on sale.
Nutrition Info per serving: About 120 calories (for kidney beans), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, and 6% Daily Value for calcium, and 10% Daily Value for iron.

5. Canned Tomatoes
Great for: Italian and Mexican recipes, chili, stew, and casseroles. Flavor options range from no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes to diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.
What's a serving? One can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 14.5-ounce can for about $1 on sale (often less for store brands).
Nutrition Info per serving: About 25 calories, 1 gram fiber, 10% Daily Value of vitamin A, and 15% Daily Value of vitamin C.
(The Muir Glen organic tomatoes sell at Wal-Mart for around $1.18 - $1.24. $1 off Muir Glen coupons are always floating around making a can of diced tomatoes .18 - .24 cents! I actually made some homemade bruchetta with a can of mine by adding some vinegar and some olive oil which I already had. I had made bruchetta at home for about $0.30 after using my coupon on the diced tomatoes!)

6. Oranges (extra large navel oranges)
Great for: Snacks, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large or extra large orange.
Price per serving: 40 cents for a large orange and 79 cents for an extra large orange. Oranges sell for around $0.79 per pound, and a large orange is about 1/2 pound, whereas an extra large orange is about 1 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for an 8 ounce orange): 106 calories, 5.5 grams fiber, 10% Daily Value for vitamin A, 200% Daily Value vitamin C, 17% Daily Value for folate, 9% Daily Value for calcium, and 12% potassium.

7. Pears
Great for: Snacks, as an appetizer with cheese, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large pear
Price per serving: about 45 cents for a large pear. Pears sell for about $0.90 per pound, and a large pear weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 133 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 16% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 8% for potassium.

8. Lentils (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold bean salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: 14 cents. A 16 ounce bag sells for $1.12 (on sale) and contains eight servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 195 calories, 14 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 24% Daily Value for Iron, 10% Daily Value for magnesium and potassium.

9. Pearl Barley (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: About 12 cents. A 16 ounce bag of dry pearl barley sells for about $0.94 and contains about 8 servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 199 calories, 9 grams fiber, 2.5 grams soluble fiber, 6 grams protein, 8% Daily Value for iron, and 11% Daily Value for magnesium.

10. Yogurt (plain, lowfat, or fat-free)
Great for: Smoothies, yogurt parfait, dips, and dressings.
What's a serving? An 8-ounce or 6-ounce container is usually a serving.
Price per serving: 60 cents. This is usually the price for an 8-ounce container of plain yogurt.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for 8 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt): 130 calories, 13 grams of protein, 45% Daily Value for calcium, plus active cultures such as acidophilus and bifidus.
(Coupons for yogurt are plentiful which will help you bring your cost per serving even lower! Even my fussy kids eat yogurt!).

My kids don't eat veggies but they love fruit so it's important that I keep plenty of it around to make sure they are getting some of those important vitamins and minerals. I shop by way of the sale fliers to find the lowest prices on fresh fruit. Whatever is on sale, is what we have that week. Luckily, I've been finding lots of decent fruit at Aldi's lately. Sometimes in the past, the fruit has been hit-or-miss - sometimes looking kind of like it's on it's last legs and when I've gotten it home it's only lasted a day or two. Lately, my store seems to be stocking fresher fruit (or is it that they are getting more popular because of their prices and therefore restocking more often?). I don't know but whatever is going on there, we like it!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Free Baby Blanket

One Step Babies is giving away this cute baby blanket when you fill out a survey. Don't have a baby boy in your life? Put it in your gift closet, one will show up eventually!
Click here to answer a few quick survery questions (it was about 3) and then wait for your baby blanket to arrive! Offer ends March 15th or when supplies run out.

(Thanks to MoneySavingMethods here!)

Got Jpegs?

Free Web Classes and a Giveaway!!
Seriously, are you or your photos lost in a digital daze?
Do you buy a new Memory Card when yours is full because you don't know what else to do?
Do you have photos lost in the "black hole" on your computer?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of photos and "guilty" because they are just sitting in boxes or on your computer?
Well, I have a solution for you - and you can check it out for FREE!
Creative Memories has been working very hard to help it's consultants (and yep I'm one of them and allowed to say it on my blog now - woohoo!!) help people get their photos off of the computer and back into their lives. We offer two great softwares - one for organizing and editing your photos and one for creating incredible digital photobooks.
Creative Memories is offering live and recorded webinar calls that you can take by watching and listening through your computer - basically, learn about it where and when it's convenient for you (in your pj's perhaps?). The fact that they are recorded is nice because if you decide the software is for you, you can go back and watch certain ones that you need more training with. And you can always find a live person to help you, too.
Now the FUN and extra FREE part. From now through March 10th, leave a comment on this post about why you're so psyched to get your photos off of the computer and back into your life. Let me know which class you've taken and what Storybook you've started....And you could win a $39.95 gift certificate toward a Storybook (prices start at $39.95). Also, extra entries for anyone who decides to purchases the Memory Manager software and/or Storybook Creator Plus software. (They can be purchased as digital downloads through my website below. If you're just so excited after watching the webinars, you can order them and have them instantly - and get FREE shipping!!) Just leave a seperate comment for each of the 3 items.
Where do you find these classes?
Go to my website
Click on Help Zone across the top menu.
Click on Digital. Then scroll down and choose whether you'd like to sign up for a live or pre-recorded webinar. Then feel your photo frustrations melt away. No really, this is better than Calgon!
And is this a shameless plug for my business? Not really. I 100 million % understand why so many people are frustrated with their current photo situation and I 100 million % support the mission of Creative Memories. I have been doing this job for almost 11 years and I truly love the idea of changing lives, one album at a time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week - Price Chopper

Bargain Meal of the Week

Okay, my first week's Bargain Meal from Price Chopper is pretty simple.

1 jar of Bertolli pasta sauce $1.99
16 oz of Barilla Pasta $1.00
1 lb sausage $1.99 (you will have to buy a 2-3 pack but we'll only use one pound)
Fresh Italian loaf of bread 99cents
1 can DelMonte cut green beans
Final cost = $6.79 (serves 4 with leftovers = approx. $1.70 per person)

Pour sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low boil (you don't want to burn the sauce). Add sausage and let simmer for about an hour. Cooking the sausage right in the sauce will add more of a homemade taste to the jar sauce. Cook pasta as directed.

Green Beans - 2 options
1. Cook as directed and serve on the side with pasta and sausage
2. Marinate green beans in some italian dressing for an hour or so. It makes a tangy "italian" salad to go along with the pasta.

Click the Bargain Meal of the Week button above to see a bargain meal from one of your local grocery stores!

Active Frugality-Practicing What I Preach

It's Sunday and it is snowing here in upstate New York. I decided since I had a very busy week ahead to do another round of cooking. I have really been cooking weekly and preparing for the week ahead instead of monthly. As it gets closer to spring & summer I am going to try to do monthly baking days for bread, etc, and work on those things I can only prepare weekly, in addition to gardening and canning. Today I made a dozen eggs and a package of turkey bacon. I whisked the eggs in a bowl, poured them into a muffin tin I sprayed with cooking spray, and then chopped a few slices of turkey bacon and put those inside the egg cups. After they cooked and cooled, I put them in baggies in the refrigerator to grab on my way to work throughout the week. Once I get to work I pop it in the microwave and eat it with my oatmeal & latte. I need to figure it out, but I am at breakfast for about a dollar a day right now!!! I also tossed the rest of the turkey bacon into a bag for grab and go during the week.
Yesterday my husband made me a pot of vegetarian chili with dried beans I had soaked and cooked last week on cooking day. Today I made corn muffins and also bagged them and put them in the fridge to go with my chili. They can go with dinner too, or breakfast. I try not to eat too many, they are about 170 calories each, but they are a nice treat with my healthy chili.
Aldi had bricks of cheese on sale last week for $1.29. Hubs and I stopped by and bought a few and I grated them and bagged them in 2 cup portions. I cannot believe that 1 standard size brick of cheese is 4 cups of grated cheese. That makes a serious case to me for buying bricks instead of shredded cheese from now on.
I cut up my heads of lettuce and put them in a produce saver container for quick salads with dinner this week.
Dinner for tonight has been cooking in the crock pot for these past two and half hours, and I am so glad because I am tired. I may put some whole wheat pasta on to boil for dinner one night this week as well. I have a few ideas of what we'll be having for dinner this week, so I am off to sit down (aah) and create a menu guide! My husband and I will be on completely different schedules this week so I might be better off cooking and refrigerating most meals for the week so we can both just heat, eat and go.
How did you do this week? Leave a comment-I am really interested in your ideas and tips!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Score!!!! A Deal and a Surprise!


Today when I returned home there was a message on my answering machine from the Cashier at the Dollar Store!!! My order of 20 more boxes was in!!!!!!!!! Yeah! I went and picked them up as soon as I could. They were still in the cardboard boxes they had been shipped in! Also, they had ordered 60 boxes so would I be greedy if I went in and bought more????
I'd like to take a moment to thank the wonderful Cashier for all of her help!!! Even though I know your name- I am hesitant to publish it since this blog is read locally and wanted to be careful about your privacy-I'll hope you'll be reading this since I gave you the web address!!!! It really does pay(save) to speak up and ask for what you want folks!

Last week I posted about ActiveFrugality and I mentioned I was researching ways to make my favorite Latte at home and making it less expensive. Today I stopped by the Dollar Store to get some dried onion for homemade stuffing and as I went down the aisle guess what caught my eye? My favorite Latte for $1.00 per box- compared to $2.77 I was paying at WalMart. I made the decision to buy all 18 boxes on the shelf and I told the cashier that I cleared the shelf she said I will make a note of that for the next order. I told her I would be willing to buy 20 more or so, so I gave her my informationin case they could order more. So, I found a temporary solution to carry me over until I could a permanent one. Now, I can have Latte for about $0.16 per day instead of $0.46 per day-so I am saving $0.30 per day over the next 108 days or $32.00. It may not seem like much but it is to me!!!! So, the moral of the story is that you never know what you will find at the Dollar Store!!! I am not sure why I stopped visiting weekly to see what they had in stock.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Surviving Valentine's Day - Fat Burnin' Friday with Mommy Snacks

It has been a while since I updated my Weight Loss progress. Unfortunately, I gained 3 pounds over the Holidays and I will not be weighed again for about 2 more weeks. I have really struggled getting back on track because of stress eating, but I was more aware of what I was eating. We shopped at Aldi this past week and bought grapes, pears, and sweet potatoes. I have been snacking on grapes more than Smart Food, and pears are part of my mid morning snack. I made sure to have a vegetable with dinner at least 6 times this week, and I also ate a salad with grilled chicken for Valentine's Day, and my husband gave me six chocolate dipped strawberries. I have been back in the gym 4 days so far this week and am going again tomorrow (Saturday). Overall, I am focused on eating fruits and vegetables more, filling myself with protein and whole grains. I am still struggling with stress eating and trying to be more aware and stop myself. I'll be weighing in a few weeks from now and can give you a real progress report! Run, don't walk, over to Mommy Snacks and get some great inspiration from Andrea!!

Freebie Friday!

Here are some cool Freebies from around the blog world! Don't forget to sign up with Roboform to fill out your forms with one click of a button!!

Walgreens is offering 20 free 4x6 photo prints tomorrow (Friday, February 20, 2009) only when you enter coupon code ONEDAY at checkout. Be sure to request to pick these up in-store so that you will also receive free shipping.

Sign up for a FREE Diet Dr. Pepper (20 oz or 2 liter bottle) offer at Your coupon will arrive by mail (I just got mine from the offer in January this week!).

Click here to print a coupon for a free sample of Victoria's Secret Pink Energizing Lotion. No purchase necessary!

Click here to get a free sample of Selsun Blue (I like these free samples of dandruff shampoo because my kids still tend to get cradle cap and instead of buying a huge bottle of shampoo since I only need to use in once in a while, I can break out my free samples!).

Click here to get a free sample of Aquafresh + other coupons.

Click here to get a free sample of Huggies Baby Wipes with Shea Butter.

Click here to get your free apple-cinnamon nutri-grain bar (my kids love these!).

Happy Freebie Friday! Check back next week for more Friday Freebies!

Know of any great freebies? Leave a comment to share with our community! Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Bakeware

Trying again with correct link...

Click the picture to get yours. There is a selection of bakeware along with 2 apron sets, a cutting board, an onion blossom maker and more. And what a great gift idea if you've got a bridal shower or housewarming party coming up! They do ask that you join their savings club but you are free to cancel within 7 days and you card will not charged the $19.99 membership fee. (The cancellation # is 1-888-593-5216). I've done many of these deals in the past and they really are legit and will cancel your membership and still send you your free product. I'm going for the cutting board - I could use a new one desperately! What are you going for?

Active Frugality Skill # 2- Gardening

A green thumb is something I lack, but I have been able to grow a garden with a fairly good rate of success. Last year we grew tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, lettuce, and squash. Basically, I used the garden for fresh vegetables for the gardening season, and now I am back to purchasing fresh vegetables weekly. As I have been reading online and looking at my Ball Canning & Preserving Book, I have come to realize I should be growing as large a garden I can afford time and money to grow. My plan is to grow more of each vegetable, and can or freeze it for use during the rest of the year. Now, I am not going to get carried away and grow 40 tomato plants (I hope), but I am going to grow enough so that we can make our own homemade pasta sauce, bruschetta, and possibly ketchup for at least a half the winter. As far as squash and peppers go, I will be freezing those on cookie sheets and then bagging them up and storing them in the freezer until needed. The best part of that is being able to prepare them the way I want, so I can have diced peppers in my eggs, or strips to make fajitas, or slicing the zucchini into thin rounds to make Zucchini-roni Pizza by Rachel Ray, mmmm.

Now is probably a good time for you to begin making a plan for where your garden will be, how you will set it up, and what you want to grow, how much, OK OK,you get the point. My plan is to assess how much we need for our family, and then see if we have space for any extra, so that we can make extra to give as gifts. Don't forget to factor in the cost of any seeds.

Once you have this part figured out you will want to start looking for sales and coupons for the containers you will need to adequately store these items for the winter. I am thinking I'll be stocking up on plastic freezer and sandwich bags, and canning jars in various sizes, and wax & other accessories that go along with canning. Canning jars can often be found at Goodwill, yard sales, etc.

You can draw advice from around the web, including this post at Frugal Family Fun Blog, and this website by Ball. I do recommend purchasing the Ball Blue Book or at least borrowing it from your local Library. Don't forget about the experience you have around you, your mother and grandmother probably have canned and preserved before!! I will be asking Mom for help, I remember her making jam when we were kids.

If you don't have much yard space for gardening, get creative and use your Library and the web to find alternate methods. Type container garden in to your search engine- mine found over 1200 sites. Grow fresh herbs in pots around the house- they do not have to stay in the kitchen. Also, you can buy items on sale at great prices and still freeze and can the items for future use, as you would if you were making meals for Once a Month Cooking, see more about that here. I was considering doing the same when our local grocery store had bags of onions B1G1F.

So, for homework, start checking out books from the Library, check prices on canning supplies on your next store trip, and plan out what your needs are, and get ready to play in the dirt!!!!

Posted by Stephanie

Bargain Meal of the Week!

Bargain Meal of the Week

I'm so excited to be participating in Bargain Meal of the Week with Erin at $5 Dinners. This is a new feature on her blog. Each week, I'll post a Bargain Meal of the Week featuring the Price Chopper and Hannaford ads for our local upstate NY readers. I'll use sale items to give you a bargain recipe and I'll try to keep the meal at as close to $5 as possible. If you aren't a local reader, just hop on over because Erin is featuring as many stores as possible - Kroger, Giant, Sav-A-Lot and more! You're sure to find your store and if you don't, you might want to join up to take part in the fun like I did, and be a contributor! So look right here for my new posts Monday to get your Price Chopper & Hannaford Bargain Meals of the Week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CVS Trip 2/17

I made it to CVS yesterday, just in the nick of time! My ecb's were going to expire TODAY and I really needed to roll them. At first glance, the weekly and monthly deals did not look too inspiring. But then I visited A Full Cup and a bunch of other fabulous blogs and I got inspired!

So here's my trip yesterday using a $10/$50:

1 gold emblem sour worms (a PMS attack) $0.88
2 Glucerna cereal @ $4.52 each = $9.04
2 Colgate advanced total toothpaste @ $2.99 = 5.98
2 herbal essences hairspray @ $2.99 = $5.98
1 Mylanta Ultimate Strength mint @ $3.75 (sign on product said $7.49 but scanned at clearance price)
1 Earrinse @ $7.99
1 CVS Children's Triaminic stuff @ $1.37
4 CVS Cotton Rounds (trial size pack) @ $0.99 = $3.96
1 CVS Children's Chewable aspirin = $1.99
3 packs Stayfree @ $3.89 = $11.67
1 bottle of water (thirsty kids) = $.99
2 neutrogena soap bars @ 3.19 = $6.38
1 bag of Tostitos chips = $3.99
Total before coupons = $63.97 (after automatic discounts for sale items)

Coupons used:
$1 off Mylanta
$1.50 off Colgate
$1.50 off Colgate
$3 off 2 Herbal Essences
$5 off Glucerna Cereal (I had 2 but it said only 1 per household so she said she couldn't take it and gave it back to me)
$2 off stayfree
$2 off stayfree
$2 off stayfree (these printed out of the magic scanner machine when I first arrived and scanned my ticket)
$10/$50 coupon

Used $34 in ecb's, paid $3.15 out of pocket and received $31 ecb's back. So I did lose about $5 in my shopping yesterday but I got a lot of stuff for $5!

I was hoping the $10 ecb's for the neutrogena would work but it didn't. If I were able to use my other $5 for glucerna, I would have broke even and had a free trip. Why did Glucerna let me print 2 but they say limit one per household. I may try to make another trip this week if I can find the rest of the Mylanta moneymakers. My store only had one. Also, my deals would never have worked if those Stayfree coupons didn't print from the scanner machine. They paid me $0.11 for each pack of Stayfree I left the store with!
For more scenarios and a complete list of the weekly deals with coupon match-ups, visit DealSeekingMom and CentsibleSawyer.

Is there a Coupon Hall of Fame?

Because I have some coupons that may belong see, my husband's grandmother (whom I love as much as my own grandparents) has a long history of.... collecting. She recently moved into a nursing home and my mother-in-law has been cleaning out boxes of items that have been collecting dust in the basement for 20-30+ years. A few months ago she came across an envelope marked "coupons with no expiration date." I thought you guys would like to see them just for fun!
I love the old-style labels on all of the products. They're so retro and remind me of when I was a kid!


P&G Free Gas Cash Offer

It Looks like many of the stores in NY were only running this campaign through February
14th, so please check inside your stores.

P&G is at it again! Offering Consumers great deals and rewards!!! Apparently you can get a $15 gas cash card with your $40 P&G purchase or a $10 gas cash card with your $35 P&G purchase. Official offer form and original cash register receipt must be obtained from the same participating sore. Purchase must be made in one transaction. Mail-in offer. Offer ends 3/31/09. See mail-in offer form for details. Limit one per household. For Customer Service call 866-538-5230. Go here to check the list of participating stores. For our Upstate NY readers it looks like all of the local Price Chopper markets are participating!!! Also, at the beginning of each month coinciding with the release of the P&G Brand Saver inserts Price Chopper releases coupons of their own to double and P&G coupon.
We blogged here about the P&G Year of Savings Coupon Book Offer, and I just received mine in the mail yesterday, so be on the look out. This book has higher value coupons on some products than are in the monthly Brand Saver, so with doubles you might be able to get that total pretty low to get your Gas Card. I do not see any Drugstores on the participating store list.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Different Way to Budget

The Family Financial Workbook by Larry Burkett
I came across this book about 2 years ago and have been trying to make it the only
budget I use. It has been difficult, but I always have an eye toward trying to make
this work for me. Let's jump right in. Basically, it works on something based like an emergency fund. My car lease (gasp!) requires oil changes every 5,000 miles, which I usually need four times per year. Two of those oil changes are about $80.00 and the others about $110.00. So I should budget $380.00 per year for oil changes. According to this book, I should divide that number by 12, and put $31.66 in savings monthly for oil changes. I really like this idea, because so many times these unexpected little non monthly expenses creep up on me and because of that, my monthly budget is thrown off.
This book has forms in the back that you can use to keep track of your budget, and keep track of how much you have paid out and put in to each category. The Monthly Income and Expense Form has categories that I often forget about-like renewing your license and car registration, co pays & prescriptions, and toiletries-wait, people pay for those? The book refers to those as Variable Expenses. It has some forms for Income Allocation & Budget Analysis, but my favorite are the forms for Individual Account Page. On this form I write the category on top- so Car Maintenance, and below it looks like a check register. Each time I transfer the $31.66 to the savings account I enter it there, and add it to the balance, and when I take it out for the actual oil change, I subtract it. Now, I know this is strange for a blogger, but I really love paper and pencil and writing, so this is so for me. You could probably put these forms online, and use them on your computer, or duplicate them in Excel if you are really good.
Another reason this would work for me is because I put all of my Emergency Fund Savings in an ING Account, and this way I could keep track of what the money is in there for, and the interest gained could be applied toward my main Emergency Fund Savings. I am not very creative personally that I could create these forms myself, so this workbook is perfect for me. Umm, how many times have I said that in this post? So what is my plan? To fill out the Monthly Income & Expense Form, and identify which expenses I can begin to add to my ING account and then add categories one by one, until I can get all of them funded. I realize they will never be fully funded as they will be used as needed. I would like to publish these forms online but I think that would cause some legal issues. The book is currently retailing for about $10.00 on Amazon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheap Target Deals! (2/15 - 2/21)

New Target Coupons have been released and they are some good ones! For those not in the know, Target coupons and Manufacturer coupons can be COMBINED!! Click here to print your coupons (you can print as many as you want). You can get some really cheap Goldfish crackers this week! There are also some other great deals to look for at Target - unfortunately all stores don't mark down or clearance at the same time or percentages but keep your eyes out for some of the sales listedd at the bottom, too!

$1 off Archer Farms® cereal

$1 off Renuzit air care product

50¢ off 8-oz. or larger Chex Mix snack mix

$1 off Kashi Cookies or Crackers or Granola bars

$1 off With purchase of two 8-oz. Market Pantry® cheeses
These are usually around $1.99-$2.50 in my area so not a bad deal!

$1 off 6-oz. or larger Pepperidge Farm crackers
Goldfish crackers usually sell for $1.66 at Target, so 66 cents for a bag of Goldfish!

$1 off 64-oz. Tropicana orange juice
Use this with the $1/2 manufacturer coupon in the 1/4 inserts and get it for $1.49 per carton when you buy two. (Oh Target, please have Pure Premium with no pulp tomorrow!!)

$1 off Vlasic pickles

$1 off Fresh vegetable Broccoli or Cauliflower or 16-oz. Green Giant Hearts of Romaine
50 cent head of broccoli at Supertarget

Starkist pouches are marked at $1.00
If you have the Vocalpoint coupons for $1 off you can get them for free!

The Healthy Choice Panini s are on clearance for $1.22.
Use the .50 Target q off any healthy choice and they are .72 each!

New to Target? Check out the Target Coupon Generators here and here for older coupons that are no longer available at but not yet expired. One nice thing is you can choose how many you need of each coupon and they will all print on the same sheet of paper!

Freebies in Honor of President's Day

Here are some Freebies we found for you - Happy President's Day!!!

Free Nutrigrain Bar here

Purell Hand Sanitizere here

Free Coupon Book from Eat Better America here

Sign up for the Dinner Made Easy Newsletter and get a coupon book from GeneralMills

Free Sampls for babies from here

Online Communities Part 5 - Make $$$ from your Couch

Your basic day in the life of me (Stephanie) is get up, go to work, go to the gym, have dinner, get ready for the gym the next day, prepare lunch for the next day, crash. So, in this difficult economy when I found myself wanting to make more money, but needing something really flexible, I started taking Online Surveys, and getting paid to read emails. If you have not created a separate email account for your coupons and deals yet, you might want to do so now. You could even create a separate one for just surveys and paid emails - like surveys for Stephanie @ I keep mine all together in one email address with my coupons and deals to make my life easier. Let me introduce you to a few that you can start with:

Send Earnings:
Usually Offers a $5 sign on bonus, you get paid 3 cents per email that you click on and read, more if you take advantage of any special offers, and usually $1.00 for surveys. In about 6 months I have earned $16.00 for just the paid emails and sign on bonus. You must have $30.00 in your account to cash out.
Sign up here

Viva Research Panel:
Pays $5 to $75.00 per survey - Sign up here

Zoom Panel:
Earn points towards cashing out for products like a Bluetooth Headset, a Kitchen Aid, etc. I am currently banking my points -maybe to do some Christmas shopping? One thing I like about Zoom Panel is that they give 5 points if you do not qualify for a survey.
Sign up here

There are a few to start with so you are not overwhelmed. What I prefer to do is click on the paid emails and take surveys while I watch TV at night. It's nice to be able to earn some extra money or free things for my family while not having to leave the house or spend real time away from home. Surveys and Paid emails are very flexible and really work for me. I hope they work for you too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009 B1G1 Sale

Deep Discounts is having an awesome sale - B1G1 on select children's dvd's. Several are $10 and under, including Thomas dvd's that come with Thomas trains! I just scrolled through the selection and there are quite a few good ones - Angelina Ballerina, Barbie as Rapunzel, Bob the Builder, Peppa Pig and MORE! We hit the B1G1 Thomas dvd's in October and used the sale to stock up for Christmas. We were able to get 6 Thomas dvd's for about $18. I am going to order for some upcoming birthday parties, Easter and for my "rainy day closet." Sometimes we just need something new to watch or do on a sick day or rainy day and a $3 dvd fits the bill!

Click here to check out the list.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Great Deal From Gevalia Coffee

Get 3 boxes of coffee for $3 plus a free travel mug plus free shipping! I'm not a coffee drinker (we don't even own a real coffe pot - gasp!!), so last time I did one of their deals and got free coffee, I stuck the envelopes in my family's Christmas bags along with their other gifts. You will have to sign up for a membership and pick when you'd like your next shipment to arrive. After getting your $3 package in the mail, simply call the 800# and cancel your membership and future order. They will cancel with no questions asked. Simply click here to get started. This is a great deal and everyone seems to love their coffee!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Celebrate with these Valentine Freebies

Here's a list of Valentine Freebies to make your Frugal Valentine's Day even more special:

1. Get a Free DVD rental from your local Redbox by entering the codes BREAKROOM or DVDONME. These are ongoing codes that can be used once per credit/debit card.
(Thanks dealseekingmom!)

2. Amazon is offering the quintessential Valentine Day song as a free download today and tomorrow (2/13-2/14) only. Download “Let’s Get It On” from Marvin Gaye here.
(Thanks Common Sense with Money!)

3. Go here to print a B1G1 coupon valid on any Hallmark cards up to $2.50 each through Saturday, February 14th. (Thanks Money Saving Mom!)

4. Have a breakfast date at IKEA. This weekend, enjoy a free breakfast at IKEA. Friday (2/13) through Monday (2/16) IKEA will be serving up a free breakfast and cup of coffee. Coupon good from 6am-10:30 only and not valid in Houston, Hicksville or Pittsburge IKEAs.

5. Have a dessert date. Print this coupon for a free slice of pie at Bob Evans. No other purchase necessary.

6. Get your Valentine Freebies here here.

And don't forget to check out Steph's previous poston having a Frugal Fun Valentine's Day here.

Hurry! Quick! Run! Free Martha Stewart Living Subscription!

If you missed the free Martha Stewart Living magazine I posted about a couple of weeks ago, you have another opportunity to grab one now! This went super fast last time so click here to get yours now! This is another offer from RewardsGold. They do not send you a bill ever. As a matter of fact I just received my first issue of Shape magazine from a subscription I signed up through RewardsGold early last month.

$5 off $20 Purchase at Rite Aid

Go here to print a coupon good for $5 off a $20 purchase at Rite Aid good February 13th & 14th. Go to Money Saving Mom's post here and see if you can combine this withthe Rite Aid Deals of the Week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


If you missed my very early post about Roboform, you're in luck - cuz I'm posting about it again (teehee). You can download free Roboform here. Roboform is an auto-form filler type thing that, once you enter your info, will enter all of your info on your forms and free samples. The free version will also store up to 10 logins and passwords. If you want to do more you can upgrade to a pay version. I would never have the time to sign up for so many freebies, samples and contests without Roboform!

Free Valentine's Day Samples from Quality Health

Click here to sign up for free samples from Quality Health. They will also ask you (optional)questions about yourself (and your household members) and send you extra samples and gifts based on your answers to the questions. I received a pink messenger type backpack filled with breast cancer info in it after filling out a survey where I answered that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Pretty cool!

B1G1 Free Entree from TGI Friday's

To print a coupon for a free entree from TGI Friday's when you buy one entree, click here. Believe it or not, I received this in an email from them and the email specifically said to print as many times as I want and to share with friends!! How crazy is that! So hop on over and print yours. The only excluded day is Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Free Bookplate Template from Good Housekeeping

Go to GoodHousekeeping to get a free template for these adorable bookplates to put inside your books so you get them back when you loan them out. Good Housekeeping tells you the site. label size, etc., on this

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congratulations Surprisingly Lively, Precious Days

You are the winner of the Ziploc Goody Bag from and us! Email us your name and address at and I will pop your bag in the mail. We had so much fun tonight. Who knew plastic bags and containers could elicit so many oohs and aahs? And let me tell you, the Chickies were all really happy with their goody bags and I think you will be too! Everyone was particularly excited about the polka dot big bag!

If you haven't registered at, I highly suggest it (no one's paying me to say this!). If you like free stuff and sharing free stuff with your friends, you will love this. Just visit the site, register yourself and they will send you updates for new parties that you can apply for.

Everyone, thank you so much for blogging about us, subscribing, posting your organizational comments (I got some really great ideas from you guys!). I can't wait to get to know you better!
-Heather & First Blog Giveaway!

Bumping to the Top
(there are new posts below this one!)
I am so excited that I've been selected to host my first Houseparty by Houseparty is a cool site that promotes products from different companies by giving you the opportunity to host themed parties (like a Fisher Price party, a South Beach party, etc.) and give away a bunch of that company's products for FREE! I have applied 4 or 5 times in the last 6 months and was selected last month to host this month's Ziploc Organizational Houseparty. Perfect for me since I'm always striving to get organized!! Here is a picture of the goodies they sent me to give away to my awesome party guests:

This package includes:

15 Organization “To Do” Pads
15 Marker Pens
15 Ziploc® EZ Zipper Gallon Bags
15 Ziploc® Storage ½ Gallon Bags
15 Ziploc® EZ Zipper Quart Bags
15 Ziploc® Snack Bags
15 Ziploc® Snap ‘n Seal Large Rectangle Containers
15 Ziploc® Snap ‘n Seal XS Containers
15 Ziploc® Big Bags
15 Ziploc® Big Bags with special design
15 Ziploc® Home Organization Brochures with coupons
1 Ziploc® XL Flexible Tote
1 Ziploc® Twist ‘n Loc® Medium Container

Goodie bags will contain 1 of everything that I received multiples of! And one lucky blog reader will, too! Here's how you can enter (up to 3 times) to get a fabulous Ziploc Organizational Goodie Bag -
Leave a comment with your best organizing tip.
Become a subscriber of this blog (and then leave another comment letting us know)
Link us on your blog (and let us know)
Then check back on Tuesday, February 10th to see if you're the winner. We'll collect your address privately and mail your package out to you! Get hoppin' and Good Luck!

And check out so you can apply to host your own Houseparty!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Outdoor Activities- Snow Painting

I happened by this great post today by Valerie at The Frugal Family Fun Blog. Snow painting might be a good activity in this 40 degree weather we are having in upstate New York. Check it out here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Free Federal E-filing

Click here to file for free with Turbo Tax. Turbo Tax starts you off with their simplest form and if you need to upgrade to something that fits your situation better (say you own a business), it will help you find what you need and transfer the information you've already entered. The site looks pretty easy to navigate. It's definitely worth checking out - they say you can have your refund check in as little as 8 days from the time you free e-file.

Happy (Frugal) Valentine's Day

Having a Frugal Valentine's Day is not hard, but can take some preparation so we thought we should post this early. Since Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year many us will likely be busy with kid's activities or other obligations, so a little preparation during the coming week might keep you from falling asleep at 8PM with the kids.
Plan your family's favorite meals for the Big Day. Start Saturday Morning with breakfast. Maybe this week's pancakes can be heart shaped, or have some pink or red food coloring or other special touch. Make the batter Friday night so you can put in minimal effort Saturday morning.
If you will be home on Saturday plan some special family oriented activities- don't worry single people you can modify these ideas for two. Rent Charlie Brown's Valentine's Day from the Library on Monday, most people will wait until Friday, so you'll be first in line. then pop some corn, make some cocoa, etc. Coordinate a Family Fun Afternoon of games or crafts. Make sugar cookie dough during the week, refrigerate it, then on Saturday roll 'em, cut 'em out, and let everyone decorate them. Anything you can do ahead to make Saturday easier will make the day enjoyable for everyone. If you'll be out all day, put something in the crock pot, or make heart shaped mini pizza dough ahead of time, let everyone personalize their own. I think you get the point.
Here are some inexpensive ideas for anyone on your list:
The Little Things: open the car door, pull out chairs, etc., to make the day more special
Dance in the Living Room with the each other- before or after the kids go to bed- or dance with them.
Write Love Letters-this does not have to be for just your spouse, write one to your children, your parents, your siblings- everyone loves to be told why you love them-it will be cherished forever.
Make your own cards, use any craft supplies, crayons, whatever- hand deliver them if possible.
Martha has some great ideas.
Google major events that happened the year and/or day of your loved ones' birth, print on pretty paper, make it into a scroll.
Make your own crossword puzzle using words and phrases special to you and your family/relationship.
Burn a CD of favorite songs from their CD collection
Burn some of those ECB's and Register Rewards on cards, chocolates, anything that might be special.
Make heart shaped cupcakes without a special mold - stick a marble in between the cupcake paper and the cupcake tin to make a heart shape.
Set your alarm clock for every hour and kiss and hug every hour on the hour.
We hope we have given you some inspiration and encourage you to post your tips in the comments...Happy Valentine's Day!!

Active Frugality

Skill #1 Once A Month Cooking (OAMC)

Frugal is a state of mind. I get a little rush when I get a great deal, or when I make something last a bit longer, stretch a bit farther. There is no more satisfying night of sleep then when I get creative and find new uses for old things. Does this sound like you? If not, then you need this post more than I need to write it.

Being frugal is a necessity for most of us, right? In these economic times we have to clip coupons, stretch the milk, keep down the electric bill, just to make ends meet. For me, it is more than that, I like it! It is a Game! I have been watching my savings accounts go up, little by little, and I want it to go up more.

I am going to share some more ways I play my “game” because I think these add to my bottom line over the long run, beyond the next deal, and the deal after that. I am calling it Active Frugality. The bottom line is that the couponing, online communities, free samples, giveaways, etc are all really great tools you can use to stretch your budget, but what will you do when the coupons are gone, or the deal is over, and your stockpile is running low?

Well, if you are actively frugal you have other tools that you can rely on. A few months back I wound up with frozen whole grain waffles for less than $1 per box, but I had about 4 coupons, so I could only get 4 boxes, with 8 in a box, they didn’t last long. So what do I do now? Once a Month Cooking (OAMC). It may be one of the best tools I have at my disposal. It is only limited by my imagination and ability to read. I used Google, and a few cookbooks, and made some whole grain waffles of my own, Ok, my husband made them for me.

We made about 20 waffles, and after they cooled I broke them up and put 2 triangles each in Ziploc bags, and put them in the freezer. During the week I grab some pre-cooked turkey bacon, and some syrup, and I have breakfast-cheap, inexpensive, healthy breakfast.

After that the light bulb turned on. I can make a lot of items from scratch, saving time and money in the process. Right now I am experimenting with making my favorite store bought instant latte mix, to save myself about $3 a week. Last year I realized I could buy a week’s worth of Latte for $3, instead of $3 per day at the Coffee House. Now, my “skills” have developed more and I am trying to get that down to pennies a day.

Homework: Think about some foods that your family eats a lot of and how you can use OAMC to benefit you.

Tools: Check out some of these Tools:
Jane4Girls - Potatoes
MoneySavingMom - Baking Day

Please leave comments and share your tips!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Keep Entering!

My Ziploc party is almost here and I am so excited! We are loving the comments, especially the awesome organization tips! We don't want to mess with the thing for picking a winner so we have not been replying to individual comments but we Love, Love, Love the comments and everyone for entering! Don't forget to leave a seperate comment if you become a follower or link us to your blog so you get additional entries! Thank you!! 3 more days! Keep entering until 6:00pm Monday. We will "pull" the winner during the Ziploc Houseparty (starts Monday at 6:00pm) and post the winner Monday night or Tuesday morning (you know, depending how wild our Ziploc Houseparty gets)!

Free Pass to Sam's Club

Print off THIS coupon and enjoy a free day of shopping at Sams Club. No membership required, and the 10% purchase upcharge for non-members is waived. This is good until 3/31.
(Thanks MomsbyHeart).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free Cheerios from Pampers!

I just claimed my free box of Cheerios from Pampers Gifts To Grow program. If you have at least 50 pampers points, you can redeem them for a coupon for a free box of Cheerios or prints from Snapfish. There are a bunch of other cool rewards for different point values. Often, bloggers will post some free point codes on their blogs to help you add up your points more quickly! If you haven't signed up for the program yet, it's as easy as 1-2-3!
Register with .
Find codes inside each package. (They are a little sticker that is stuck to the inside bottom of the package).
Enter your codes & redeem rewards!
And thank you to Deal Seeking Mom here for these extra codes to get you some points (a couple are expired but just try each one and see what happens).
New Code:
Previous Codes:
WELCOME2GTG0809 (1 pt.)
HAPPYHOLIDAY089 (3 pts.)

You Might Have Unclaimed $$$!

There are millions of dollars in unclaimed funds that may have your name on them!
Click here here and then scroll down on the map to see if your state is participating in this effort to reunite it's citizens with unclaimed property. You can click here for NYS.
My sister-in-law found the site for NY a year or so again and both my mother-in-law and father-in-law had unclaimed funds due to them. These funds can be from unclaimed life insurance funds, 401k's, overpaid property taxes, etc. Unfortunately, I seem to have no missing money anywhere! Happy Searching!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Create!!!

Over the last few months I have limited my shopping for organizational items. I am always striving to be organized - it is my worst pitfall. I know that I could save so much time, energy and money if I could be more I have spent lots of money on baskets, bins and whatnot over the last few years. For the past few months I have taken to using all of our many empty Sunny Delight bottles to store markers, crayons, even my toilet brush and plunger to keep them up off the floor! Today, while perusing some organizing sites I found THIS cool idea that the Masked Mommy created all by herself using things from around the house. I'm starting to think of multiple uses for this.

Escape from Winter Gift Pack

Another great Gift Pack from Right At Home!!! Go here to sign up!!!

The first 10,000† to respond will receive a free Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil warmer along with a Hawaiian Breeze® refill and a Glade® coupon!

Unfortunately I am still not Eligible - But I hope you are!!! Good Luck

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Price Chopper Deal 1/11 - Update

Remember this deal I posted about earlier this month? Well,it is possible again. There was another coupon in the 2/1 Price Chopper Ad for $3.00 off 5 participating Quaker Products.

Apparently if you purchase $20.00 of several participating products, including Quaker products, you will receive $5.00 oyno. I don't see the boxes of instant oatmeal at 2/$4 again, but I see the following:

Quaker Granola Bars 2/$4 -
$1.00/2 from 1/4 Smart Source (SS)
$1.oo off 1 True Delights 1/4 SS

Quaker Old Fashioned or Quick Oats B1 @ $2.99 G1F
$.60 off 1 1/4 SS - use 2

Life Cereal B1G1F
$1.oo off 2 in 1/4 SS

To check out the other possible items that qualify for the $5.00 oyno check out page 8&9 of the 2/1 Price Chopper Ad.

I bought 5 Boxes of Quaker Oatmeal at Price Chopper today for $2.65!!!! Here's how:

-5 Boxes Quaker Instant Oatmeal 2/$4.00=$10.00

-1 $1.35 off 2 Quaker Oatmeal from 1/4 SS

-3 $1.oo off 1 coupons from 1/4 SS

-1$3.oo off 5 Quaker Products from Price Chopper Flier

The Register printed a coupon for another $2.oo off 3 oxes of oatmeal so I may try this again. If you don't have multiple copies of the paper to get the coupons you can use this $1.00 off 1 printable coupon here

Don't forget to hit the back button on your browser- then refresh and retry so you can print two!!! See - you can buy healthy food on a budget!